Compost Application in Marlborough Vineyard

Marlborough Soil Health at Risk

The essence of Marlborough’s wine success is terroir. Unique environmental contexts produce our world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and many other varietals in burgeoning demand.  A critical aspect of terroir is the soil on a vineyard site. However, these distinctive soils and current land management practice are now under scrutiny.


Documenting Degrading Soil

A report tabled recently at Marlborough District Council’s Environment Committee has shown that the regions soils are at risk. Required under the Resource Management Act, the soil quality monitoring report determines the “life-supporting capacity of soil” and how current farming practice might impact on “the foreseeable needs of future generations”.


Marlborough District Council Environmental Scientist Matt Oliver, who wrote the report noted that soil quality was acceptable, but not improving, and that action should be taken to reduce the risks to the environment and production.  The report notes that “degraded soils lose their productive capacity and become ineffective at filtering contaminants”.
 

Missing the Targets

The 2018 monitoring included 13 vineyard sites from a potential 158 subsites across the region. The samples were analysed for a series of chemical, physical and biological properties, which are used nationally and known to be robust indicators of soil quality. The results are assessed against a set of target ranges.

 

Oliver has expressed concern at the results noting continuing trends show soil degradation, with large numbers of samples failing targets, specifically in relation to phosphate and air-filled porosity, and lesser numbers failing anaerobically mineralised nitrogen, total carbon and nitrogen, C:N ratio and bulk density targets. Vineyard sites showed a significant effect in soil quality due to a decline in total carbon.

 

C-N The Real Costs

The overuse of agrichemical fertilisers plays a large role in the reduction in soil health, says Oliver. Leachates such as nitrogen and phosphate damage the ecological health of waterways by providing nutrients to unwanted algae and invasive plant species. Council wants to see a change in practice to reduce the risk of such pollution.
 

Aside from water quality issues, the long-term sustainability of the land and its ability to continue producing into the future is at stake.

 

The slow decline in soil health shown over 19 years of monitoring, Oliver believes, is a result of cultivation, when the soil loses organic matter. In viticulture, particularly, tractors cause compaction, which negatively affects soil porosity and water retention, increasing the need for irrigation, exacerbating the risk of leaching and leading to subsequent nutrient loss from the plants.

Increasing the organic matter applied to the soil improves all aspects of soil and mitigates the deterioration of grape production quality and our waterways.
 

Strong Interest in Fixing Underlying Issues

Viticulturalists in the region have clearly embraced a refreshed focus on soil health, as indicated by their presence at the Wholesale Landscapes-hosted Soil Health Field Day, last September. The event, attended by over 30 members of the viticulture industry, discussed sustainable solutions for improved vineyard management, providing growers with the most current information and tested solutions to specific challenges.  It traversed all aspects of soil health, from initial analysis to remediation.

 

Following on from this, and seemingly indicative of an industry-wide change, Wholesale Landscapes’ sales of high-quality compost and organic matter have peaked this year, with volumes up 40%.

FishGro, one of Wholesale Landscapes’ specialist compost mixes, provides for those who require a BioGro-certified product, but increasingly, managers of conventional vineyards are moving towards a more a sustainable approach, applying additional organic matter to their soils and reaping the benefits of increased yield and higher quality fruit.

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Our Retailers

We’re working on providing you with all the information you need in just a couple of clicks.  Below is a list of our major retailers. Please contact them for stock and supply.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of our products are supplied to all retailers. We can only guarantee product quality of products we manufacture.

Nelson
  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Lifestyles Yard

  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes

Richmond
  • Bay Landscape & Garden Centre

  • Goldpine Richmond

Mapua
  • Mapua Landscapes

Motueka
  • Stonescape Landscape Supplies (Concrete & Metals)

North Canterbury
  • Woodend Landscape Supplies

Christchurch
  • Garden Box – Middleton

  • Urban Paving – Harewood

  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley

  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx               

  • Mitre 10 Ferrymead 

South Canterbury
  • Fulton Hogan Timaru

  • Ashburton Construction Ltd (ACL)

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Our Truck Volumes

3T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 6m3 Bark
  • 1.5m3 Stone
  • 3m3 Soil
  • 3m3 Supersoil
  • 4m3 Compost
  • 3m3 Shell

7.5T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 15m3 Bark
  • 4m3 Stone
  • 8m3 Soil
  • 8m3 Supersoil
  • 10m3 Compost
  • 8m3 Shell

11T Truck

Full truckload volumes
  • 25m3 Bark
  • 7m3 Stone
  • 10m3 Soil
  • 11m3 Supersoil
  • 15m3 Compost
  • 11m3 Shell

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Product Volume Required: 0.1 m3


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*we will quote to the nearest cubic meter

Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up. 

Organise Your Pick-Up

We welcome pick-up of product by the public for volumes 1m3 and over. If your trailer is unable to hold the weight of our minimum pick up volume, please book a delivery. Please check your estimated trailer weight rating below.

single-axle-trailer-landscape-supplies-bulk
Standard trailer
(750kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
tandem-trailer-landscape-supplies-bulk
Tandem trailer
(1,500kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
tip-truck-landscape-supplies-bulk
Tip truck
(2,000kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates

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Our Retailers

This product isn’t distributed directly by Wholesale Landscapes. We can only guarantee stock at our Lifestyles Yard located at 55, Saxton Road, Stoke, Nelson. 

If this doesn’t suit you or you require a smaller volume under 1.5m3, please see the list of retailers for the same or similar alternative products.

Nelson
  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Lifestyles Yard

  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes

Richmond
  • Bay Landscape & Garden Centre

  • Goldpine Richmond

Mapua
  • Mapua Landscapes

Motueka
  • Stonescape Landscape Supplies (Concrete & Metals)

North Canterbury
  • Woodend Landscape Supplies

Christchurch
  • Garden Box – Middleton

  • Urban Paving – Harewood

  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley

  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx               

  • Mitre 10 Ferrymead 

South Canterbury
  • Fulton Hogan Timaru

  • Ashburton Construction Ltd (ACL)

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